9 Ways to Foster a Positive Company Culture from the Top Down

March 11, 2019   //   Careers, ,

At SWC, we are proud of the numerous workplace awards and accolades we have received over the years, especially most recently being named Chicago Tribune Top 100 Workplaces. This recognition is in part due to the commitment we make to developing remarkable leaders who have the ability to foster a positive work culture from the top down.

A lack of strong leadership throughout an organization can create a toxic environment that impacts everything from company moral to client/employee retention to overall business profitability. It’s no wonder that a recent Deloitte survey stated that 85% of companies say developing new leaders is an “urgent” need. But even if you have good leadership who strive from instinct and intuition, this is typically not enough to inspire employees to go the extra mile to deliver the highest-quality services to clients.

Skills are like muscles, the more you use and exercise them, the stronger they get. Practice these nine qualities of an effective leader to improve your leadership abilities – as well as the abilities of others in your organization:

  1. Show Your Team Appreciation:
    Everyone needs to know when they are doing a good job so make sure you provide praise for even small wins.
  2. Acknowledge Your Own Mistakes Before Criticizing Others:
    No one is perfect, and neither are you. Identify where you may have fallen short instead of criticizing and blaming others.
  3. Encourage Team Collaboration:
    Rather than giving orders, try fostering a collaborative environment by asking questions like, “Have we tried this solution?” or “Do we think we may have better results if we try this approach?”. This will help the team feel like you aren’t just barking orders, but genuinely trying to collaborate with them on finding the correct solution.
  4. Keep Employees Challenged:
    Today’s workforce wants the opportunity to take on challenging projects. Make sure to give your employees the opportunity to step outside their comfort zone. You might be surprised at what new skills or perspective you team can bring to the table when given the chance.
  5. Praise Improvements:
    Make sure you praise every and all improvements. Even if it’s a slight improvement, people need to know they are on the right track and any sign of growth is considered a win.
  6. Give People a Name to Live up To:
    When discussing individuals, it helps to verbalize their strong qualities. This gives them a sense of pride in their work and confidence in their abilities.
  7. Help Employees Define Their Career Path:
    Encourage your team to learn new skills and gain exposure to different areas of the business. Regular meetings and a formal career roadmap help ensure your team is pursuing their passions.
  8. Make People Happy About What They Are Doing:
    Try finding a way to get people excited about their work. Regardless of an employee’s title or level within the company, everyone should have a sense of ownership and enthusiasm for their contribution to the bigger picture.
  9. Have Fun:
    We’ve been saying it for years, “happy consultants = happy clients.” Make sure you’re working hard, but also taking some moments to have a little fun along the way!

Reading these tips can be helpful in your journey to becoming a great leader. However, reading alone will not be enough. You will need to identify where you can apply these tips and put them to practice. Once you can do that on a consistent basis, you are well on your way!
If you’re interested in learning more about how SWC enables our team to do their best work or would like to learn more about open positions at SWC, check out our Careers.